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Author Topic: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users  (Read 2097 times)

Alécio Costa - Brazil

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(New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« on: November 05, 2009, 06:34:33 pm »


Hi, folks

I know a few guys here have both OCL2 and STC8 running daily thru their analog loops.

a) Do you feel the need to side-chain equalize both units?

b) Do you generally use the STC8 at the end of chain for cleaner gain-lift?

c)As the OCL2 is unbalanced .. do you keep all the chain as well as the STC8  unbalanced?

d) I have tried several chains but what does fine for 90% of situations has been like this:

PT HD RTAS pre-eq > HEDD > Ibis  >>OCL2 >> HEDD >> PT HD RTAS M-S Linear Phase EQ > Regular EQ > Limiting Stage(s)

Goal:
I intend to pick an STC8, drive Hedd a/d a bit harder and use less Digital Limiting ( PSP RTAS Xenon, TC MD3 TDM)

Any comments and past experience are greatly wellcomed!

Smile
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Alécio Costa Studio
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Garrett H

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2009, 12:39:17 pm »

My OCL/2 is balanced, so I don't have that unbalanced issue.

The side chain is very useful but not something you need to use all the time.

I like having the STC-8 last before the HEDD.  As you may know, there is a dongle you can get from Crane Song that will set the limiter to prevent clipping of the HEDDs A/D.  You just have to be careful to listen to make sure that limiter is clean sounding on your material.

GH
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TotalSonic

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 01:33:12 pm »

Garrett H wrote on Fri, 06 November 2009 12:39

My OCL/2 is balanced, so I don't have that unbalanced issue.


What did you do to mod it?  Did you put transfo's somewhere in the output stage?  I'm assuming this would be after the tube output stage? Or did you put some opamps in? I'm not sure I'd ever want to go that rout as it would change the relatively "transparent" characteristic - and when I want transformer based saturation I have another box in my rack I can go to just for this.

Quote:


The side chain is very useful but not something you need to use all the time.


Agreed.  I just started doing some experimenting with heavier equalization of the side chain (i.e. on a recent track really cranking up high mids to deal with taming a harsh vocal while not having the compression triggered on any of the other parts of the program) with it and this does in fact really add to the OCL-2's versatility - but most of the time that I use it I don't eq the side chain differently at all.  Having at least an HPF available for use on its side chain does make a really nice addition for it though.

fwiw - I usually use my OCL-2 last in the chain and usually if it's in line it's the only compressor being used.  I had mine modded so that I can have it work at unity gain with the output pots bypassed at the press of a button.  I'm not really a fan of the sound of it's output stage being pushed and this saves me from having to run tones to make sure that the sides are matched (which was a huge pet peeve of mine until I got the mod done).  

The way my levels are calibrated through my chain I can still have things peaking at around 0 - 2dBVU through the OCL-2 and then just open up the attenuator that is prior to my ADC and get plenty of level to my DAW (and even get it to the point of clipping if I wish) - so I don't usually ever worry about adding gain with an analog stage after it.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Alécio Costa - Brazil

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 11:47:49 pm »

Same opinion of yours, however I occasionally add 2 dbs of makeupgain prior to reaching hedd a/d.



Anyone else?
Smile
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Alécio Costa Studio
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Listen to my album at:
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bblackwood

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2009, 06:56:32 am »

Al
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Brad Blackwood
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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2009, 07:34:50 am »

I don't use a para- or graphic eq on the Side Chain of the OCL-2.  Also, I don't have the STC-8, but I sometimes use the MLA-2 after the OCL-2, provided I have also high passed the side chain on the Pendulum.  Note, there is no accessible side chain in MLA-2, but it _is_ program-dependent, which helps to hide the action.  Mostly, however, in analog domain, I only use one compressor and one or two eqs.  One in front and one behind, the way Vaughan Mason and Crew would have liked... (;

I have used Brad's idea and just implemented a switch to bypass or add one of five different caps to the OCL-2 HPSC in/outs.  (1/2πRC, where R=10k, iirc)... It's a 2 deck 2 pole 6 throw GoldPoint, fwiw.  The legs of the caps straddle the through holes (from one deck to the other: 2>2, 3>3, etc...) and the Commons bridge the tip and ring of the respective TRS connectors.  One switch for both channels.  I don't usually work in M/S, and if I do, it's usually in the digital domain.  I drilled a hole in the center of the 1U rack sceen that covers the space just below the OCL-2 for mounting the HPSC switch.  

I would be happy to build one for anyone on the list, although it is pretty easy.  Just call Arn Roatcap, or visit his site.  Also visit Mouser for the caps...  It helps tune the comp for a variety of program.

I am signaling the console single-endedly.  

If it sounds good, it is.  But do make level-matched comparison to original so that target moves in right direction.  Don't fear the sweeper...





Laars
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hnewman

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2009, 10:20:38 am »

I use a HPF on my STC8 sidechain, and find it useful quite often.  Once you're putting something together for the OCL2 it's not much work to make the second one for the STC8's pin-out.

I experimented with a graphic EQ on the sidechain for a while, and find the HPF as effective and a lot easier to recall.

Alécio Costa - Brazil

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2009, 12:09:20 pm »

Brad, I am going through the same idea as yours. Makes lot of sense to me too. Thanks!!! Smile

Just a doubt: You wrote: "I use the STC-8 to drive the HEDD for level quite a bit for louder stuff" and you also mention: "I love the STC-8 as a gain unit and have it last in my chain".

a) When you raise STC8 output gain to drive harder Hedd a/d, do you also generally add more level with your hardware L2?

b) Also, with the new wave data being recorded at your second daw, do you further use any other limiter ITB or the cascaded gain provided by Stc8 + Hedd clipped a/d + L2 is more than enough?
Seem RMS might have already reached Clouds, as commonly asked by clients..



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Alécio Costa Studio
High-end Mastering, Music Production
http://www.aleciocosta.com

Listen to my album at:
http://www.audiostreet.net/aleciocosta

MySpace:
http://www.myspace.com/aleciocostamasterizacao

bblackwood

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2009, 08:19:06 am »

Al
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Brad Blackwood
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Patrik T

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2009, 08:47:05 am »

Al
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TotalSonic

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2009, 12:04:58 pm »

Patrik T wrote on Sun, 08 November 2009 08:47



Why just not raise gain with the OCL-2 for starters rather than getting yet another unit to raise gain with, if the intention is to drive the AD "harder"



To my ear the OCL-2 sounds really great at unity gain up to maybe a few dB of make up gain engaged at max - but it starts to audibly break up as you push it's output stage further.  My own way of dealing with this is just to leave it at unity gain and have my ADC calibrated at a level so that I need to have a few dB of attenuation to get a non-clipped level into it.  When I want to clip can still leave my comps at unity gain - and then just open up the attenuator prior to the ADC.

fwiw - If I'm working on "aggressive" music then usually the OCL-2 is not the comp I have engaged.  I tend to use the OCL-2 more on acoustic and jazz type sources - in which case clipping is the last thing I would ever want to do to them - and more often use my VCA based comps when I want to push the output stages and/or end up clipping.  

I find myself using my Focusrite Blue 330 mk1 a bit these days with it's compression not engaged - but its output stage really pushed in order to get this huge transformer based saturation going.  Almost like having a "density" knob.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Alécio Costa - Brazil

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2009, 12:38:45 am »

Patrik, please read Steve's advice.

What he has just written is what I have also concluded.

I also prefer using the ocl2 at unity or up to 2 or 3 dbs of make-up gain.
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Alécio Costa Studio
High-end Mastering, Music Production
http://www.aleciocosta.com

Listen to my album at:
http://www.audiostreet.net/aleciocosta

MySpace:
http://www.myspace.com/aleciocostamasterizacao

Garrett H

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2009, 04:43:41 pm »

Last year I heard several of Steve's masters and they all sounded great.  None were destroyed.  All had dynamics.  Yet all were "loud."  So I would trust his advice.

GH
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TotalSonic

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Re: (New) Questions to OCL2 + STC8 users
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2009, 06:40:45 pm »

Garrett H wrote on Fri, 13 November 2009 16:43

Last year I heard several of Steve's masters and they all sounded great.  None were destroyed.  All had dynamics.  Yet all were "loud."  So I would trust his advice.

GH



Thanks so much for the kudos Garrett!!  From you that really means a lot!

Just very glad you didn't hear the masters I did for a few other clients who wanted full out level, distortion be damned.  Luckily most of the folks who come to me seem to be going for more "sensible" levels.  

Hey - you never answered my question - what did you do to mod yours for balanced output??  Very curious on this one.  Were you able to do the mod without dramatically effecting the OCL-2's tone - or was this something that you were trying to change anyway?

Anyway - I've been doing a little more experimenting with radically eq'ing the side chain and got to say where as before I never really liked the OCL-2 on aggressive music before - on a recent track of heavy rock where the client asked for both "loud" & "warm" doing both a big high cuts and low cuts and then pushing up upper mids I was able to really take care of a track that just needed a vocal that popped out in the upper mids to be tamed a little while trying to keep the rest still punchy in a way that my API 2500 (which would be my usual go to in a situation like this) didn't. So seems it's veryt possible to get more versatility out of the OCL-2 than what I originally imagined.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
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